For questions specific to Windows 7. Use [windows] instead for questions involving Windows in general.

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99
votes
1answer
12k views

Windows 7 and Vista Activation FAQ: How do language, version, 64-bit or 32-bit, and source affect ability to install and transfer Windows licenses?

We get a lot of questions on Super User about Windows activation and licensing. This question is an attempt to answer the most common questions in one place with a canonical answer. When ...
163
votes
4answers
265k views

Where can I download Windows 7 (legally from Microsoft)?

I just bought a serial for Windows 7 on-line from the Microsoft store (the most painful shopping experience EVER!). I selected that I wanted to download my version of Windows 7 after purchase. After ...
121
votes
13answers
257k views

What can I do if I forgot my Windows password?

I got a brand new Windows 7 machine, installed the operating system, created one account and forgot its password. What can I do? There is no external CD, the operating system is loaded from somewhere ...
110
votes
14answers
312k views

How can I read my hard drive's SMART status in Windows 7?

How can I read the S.M.A.R.T. state of my HDDs while using Windows 7, either automatically or manually?
170
votes
6answers
1.1m views

Windows 7 SP1 Windows Update stuck checking for updates

I installed Windows 7 fresh and installed SP1. Now, when I try to check manually for Windows Updates it just hangs on the Checking for updates screen. I tried running this tool but this did not fix ...
64
votes
3answers
111k views

How can I reinstall Windows 7 if I lost my installation DVD? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where do I download Windows 7 (legally from Microsoft)? I have lost my Windows 7 installation DVD, but I do have the license key. How can I get a Windows 7 DVD? Can I ...
62
votes
7answers
79k views

Install Windows 7 from USB flash drive

I have an ISO image of the Windows 7 installation DVD, but I can't burn it to CD or DVD. I have an empty flash drive with plenty of space. Is there any way I can put the ISO image on it and install ...
87
votes
7answers
158k views

How to shrink Windows 7 boot partition with unmovable files

I have just bought an HP laptop with Windows 7 (64 bit). It has a 500 GB HDD with three partitions: a small hidden system partition, a 12 GiB HP recovery partition, and a 450 GiB C:...
88
votes
10answers
378k views

How can I repair the Windows 8 EFI Bootloader?

I installed Windows 7 and Windows 8 in EFI mode on a hard disk some days ago. Today, the bootloader got missing/corrupted. I currently have the Windows 8 installer on a flash drive and tried using ...
16
votes
0answers
6k views

How do I troubleshoot a Windows 7 freeze or slowness? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the first steps for diagnosing a slow machine? I have a new pc with windows 7 which freezes randomly. I hit every single key on the keyboard and it works again. Is ...
10
votes
4answers
12k views

I Cancelled Microsoft 10 Reservation and uninstalled KB3035583 but Window 10 is still trying to install

I cancelled the Microsoft Windows 10 Reservation and uninstalled KB3035583, but Windows 10 is still trying to install. After I uninstalled KB3035583 and restarted my laptop as instructed, I could ...
20
votes
5answers
43k views

Can I install Windows OS (Windows 7) on a removable USB hard drive?

I wanted to take a sneak peak at Windows 7 so I thought of installing it. I have Windows Vista on my laptop which came pre-installed with it. I didnt want to mess with it. So I created a partition (...
7
votes
1answer
392 views

Windows Starter Edition, Home and Home Premium do not include gpedit, how do I install it?

I want to make some changes to Windows that require using the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc). Unfortunately the Group Policy Editor is not included with the Starter Edition, Home and Home Premium ...
33
votes
3answers
69k views

How to diagnose slow booting or logon in Windows?

When I start my PC, it boots into Windows (Windows 7 32-bit) quite happily, I login and the main Windows screen appears. At that point, however, the system is extremely unresponsive for up to 5 ...
52
votes
5answers
185k views

How do I get permissions to delete files on Windows 7?

I updated my laptop's OS from Windows XP to Windows 7. There are some leftover files from Windows XP on the computer now. If I try deleting them I get the following error: You need permission to ...
123
votes
5answers
75k views

Preventing applications from stealing focus

Are there any solutions to prevent applications stealing focus from the active window? This is especially annoying when I'm starting an application, switch to do something else and the new ...
21
votes
9answers
60k views

Is there way to enable more than 4 GB RAM in 32-bit Windows OS?

I upgraded my PC to 4 GB RAM and I get only 3 GB. Windows 7 32-Bit consider that I've 4 GB RAM but didn't use more than 3 GB. Someone told me that MS Windows 32-bit doesn't support RAM larger than 3 ...
8
votes
5answers
13k views

How to enable 4GB in my Windows 7 64 bit?

I have the following machine configuration: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1 x 2048 MBytes memory chip 2 x 1024 MBytes memory chip 1 x Radeon HD 4870 Motherboard : Gigabyte 945P-S3 Windows 7 RTM 64-bit In ...
48
votes
3answers
80k views

Windows using too much RAM, how to diagnose resource hog

I have 16GB of system RAM. On startup with no applications open except the task-manager Windows is using about 3gb of RAM. I looked in the processes tab, but nothing seems to be out of the ordinary. ...
34
votes
9answers
151k views

How can I enable PAE on Windows 7 (32-bit) to support more than 3.5 GB of RAM?

I know that Windows XP 32-bit can be configured, through PAE, to support more than 3.5 GB of RAM. Is there a good tutorial to do this with Windows 7 32-bit? As to why I don't simply use 64-bit ...
41
votes
7answers
103k views

Selectively disabling UAC for specific programs on Windows 7

I have some programs running on start-up like Everything. UAC prompts every time the Windows starts. How can I set a program to make sure that no intervening prompt would appear during start-up?
67
votes
10answers
245k views

How do you remove a default program association for file types in Windows 7?

I somehow have set the default file type association for a file type in Windows 7. It doesn't appear to be possible to delete it from the "Change the file type associated with a file extension" ...
40
votes
3answers
127k views

Turn off display in Windows on command

Is there a way to turn off the display in Windows (7), preferably without using additional software? Powershell script works fine, but leaves command-line window after turning on the display.
258
votes
10answers
191k views

Menu select item stuck on screen after context or command menu has closed

Periodically when I select a menu command, the label or selected option gets "stuck" on screen and won't go away. I can close all open applications, including whichever one I was using when it got ...
99
votes
14answers
383k views

How do I synchronise two folders in real-time in Windows 7?

I want to synchronise two folders in real time under Windows 7. Basically, I want to monitor a folder and synchronise each change (new files, changed files, deleted files) to another drive. It has to ...
26
votes
13answers
107k views

How to diagnose computer lockups and freezes?

I built a desktop computer a couple years back with the following specs: CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 Yorkfield 2.5GHz 6 MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80580Q9300 Motherboard: EVGA ...
34
votes
8answers
22k views

Is there any benefit from installing Windows 7 64-bit when you have less than 4GB of RAM?

I've recently purchased Windows 7 Ultimate. I have an AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+ with 2GB DDR2 RAM. I know RAM has gotten much cheaper, I know, I know, but I am not going to be able to upgrade my RAM for ...
10
votes
1answer
11k views

How to repair a broken .EXE file association

After (hopefully) scrubbing viruses out of a Windows 7 installation (after deciding not to simply run over the laptop repeatedly with my car), I've got everything almost back to normal. The only ...
17
votes
8answers
136k views

Why is all my extra RAM marked as “hardware reserved” in Windows 7?

I have a new HP Z800 Workstation, running Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit. Z800 Specs are here. The machine has 4GB of RAM -- windows reported 1.99GB available, 2GB was "hardware reserved". I added ...
78
votes
2answers
43k views

Is there any way to hide taskbar labels and not combine taskbar buttons?

There are three options for customizing taskbar buttons in Windows 7: Always combine, hide labels Combine when taskbar is full Never combine Is there any way to hide labels and not combine taskbar ...
33
votes
6answers
34k views

Why can't a 64 bit OS run a 16 bit application?

Why is it that: a 32-bit OS, when installed on a 64-bit CPU, can run old 16-bit applications, but if you install a 64-bit OS it can't run those applications directly and need some sort of emulation ...
14
votes
1answer
18k views

Change Windows 7/8/10 system language - welcome screen, login, etc

Changing an admininstrator user language is pretty straight-forward, but it does not change the language of the Boot screen, Welcome screen, Login screen, etc... Pretty much anything that's not on ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do I need to run commands as administrator if my account is member of administrator group?

If my account is already a member of the administrator group why do some functions on Windows 7 require me to run them as administator? I kind of thought that was implied?
6
votes
2answers
11k views

4 GB of RAM installed but only 2.97 GB usable. What gives? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where did the other .8 GB of RAM go? I just bought a used MacBook on eBay that came installed with 4 GB of RAM. The first thing I did was installing Windows 7 using Boot ...
236
votes
13answers
714k views

How to search inside files on Windows 7?

In Windows XP we can search for files that contain a defined keyword (inside all files types). Windows 7 can look inside files for a keyword, but only for text files. (*.doc, *.txt, *.inf, ...), not (...
49
votes
6answers
61k views

How does Windows 7 licensing work for running the OS as Virtual Machines?

I plan on buying Windows 7 Ultimate Edition to run on an old Pentium 4. I also want to run Windows 7 virtual machines inside Windows 7. My question is two fold: Do I need a license for each Virtual ...
17
votes
3answers
30k views

How to diagnose Blue Screens in Windows 7 (64bit)

Using programs like WhoCrashed and BlueScreenView you can see the BSOD and the errors but how do you tell exactly what's causing the BSOD? I'm not sure if it's because of bad hardware, bad driver ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

How do you associate the .exe file extension with a program in Windows?

A few years ago I saw somebody play a prank on somebody by associating the .exe file extension with Internet Explorer. This made Internet Explorer open up every time the person wanted to start a ...
85
votes
4answers
107k views

Refresh Icon Cache Without Rebooting

Normally, to refresh the icon cache in Windows, we have to reboot. Is there a way to refresh the icon cache in Windows 7/8 without rebooting?
8
votes
2answers
8k views

direct ethernet connection between two wirelessly connected Windows 7 laptops

I've got two systems that are right next to each other, and connected wirelessly to the same router. I want to connect the two of them together with an ethernet cable - both have gig-e and ...
7
votes
7answers
28k views

How to diagnose repeated freezing of windows 7 (comes back alive in few seconds)

I installed Windows 7 in a 3 year old machine, it installed successfully, took all drivers and running great, but what happens is every 5-6 minutes it freezes for few seconds... 30 seconds to 1 minute ...
75
votes
10answers
367k views

How to install Windows 7 from the network?

Is it possible to install Windows 7 (Current RTM Version) on a computer without using removable media like DVD or USB? The first thing that comes to my mind is through the network, but I don't have ...
48
votes
5answers
80k views

How can I install Windows 8 on my HDD without the use of a USB or DVD?

I decided to install Windows 8 on my home machine this weekend. I've already downloaded the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation iso, however we just got done moving and somewhere in the chaos I've ...
18
votes
6answers
52k views

Windows Explorer sorts files and folders separately

When Windows Explorer sorts files, it first sorts files from directories and only then sorts each group using the sort specified (My default is DateCreated). I don't like this as the default behavior. ...
11
votes
7answers
16k views

Can't delete folder in Windows 7

I'm trying to delete a folder in Windows 7 and get a perplexing error message: "Could not find this item: This is no longer located in G:\Graphics. Verify the item's location and try again. I can ...
21
votes
6answers
22k views

Automatically login and lock

I want to configure Windows 7 to login automatically after the computer is switched on. That's not because I'm lazy and don't like typing passwords. That's because I want programs that are configured ...
0
votes
1answer
5k views

How can I move or force a program installation to another location, even when unsupported?

I have an SSD as my main Windows drive, with a 640GB 2.5" HDD, partitioned to store programs and user settings, and also to act as backup (it's the only thing I had lying around at the time of ...
133
votes
13answers
546k views

How can I find out what motherboard is in my computer?

I want to find out the exact model of my computer's motherboard so that I can see what sort of memory chip, graphics cards and other components it supports. I'm using Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit.
71
votes
9answers
218k views

How to control master volume in Windows 7?

Some keyboards have volume controls on them that can be pressed anytime to control the master volume. My keyboard does not have that. Is there a way that I can create a key macro that will work like ...
58
votes
6answers
90k views

How can I remove the option to eject SATA drives from the Windows 7 tray icon?

The Safely Remove Hardware icon in Windows 7 offers the ability to eject my SATA drives, including the boot drive. I don't see myself ever needing this - especially not from the convenience of the ...